Lingwood celebrates work starting on new £1.1m village hall

An impression of Lingwood's new village hall, designed by Norwich-based Read Spicer Architecture

An impression of Lingwood's new village hall, designed by Norwich-based Read Spicer Architecture - Credit: Read Spicer Architecture

Work on a new £1.1m village hall for Lingwood began this week marking the end of a long held dream for residents.

The project to build a new state-of-the-art facility has been on the table for the last five years and got off to a bold start when workmen moved onto the site to start constructing the 850 sq ft hall.

Once finished, the new building will be equipped with a main hall complete with stage, a separate social club room, meeting space, changing rooms, showers and a workshop space for grounds machinery.

It is being built on the village playing field next to the newly completed primary school and is hoped to be open to groups, clubs and residents by next summer.

Ben Bethell, chairman of the village hall committee, said everyone in the community was looking forward to having it.

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'Every person that runs a group has been positive about what we're doing and can see why we're doing it,' he added.

'We have had a lot of comments from a lot of different people and from most people's perspective it will be the best village hall they have ever seen.

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'We're very fortunate as well as excited.'

The old hall, a former agricultural building, had become unfit for purpose and was in need of serious work to bring it up to scratch. But Mr Bethell said due to the nature of the building any work carried out in it would likely need to be re-done a few years down the line.

Rather than try to repair it, the old building was demolished and the land sold to housing developer Persimmon, which funded the building of the new hall on the other side of the road.

The sale also allowed the committee to buy an extra four acres of land to extend the village playing field.

While construction gets under way clubs and groups are meeting in the old infant school in Chapel Road, which is empty having been amalgamated with the new primary.

The hall already enjoyed daily bookings but the new building is expected to become even busier once it opens as there are talks of even more groups using it. And Mr Bethell hopes the revamped social club room will become an evening focal point for residents, along with the village pub.

The design of the new hall, drawn up by Norwich-based architects Read Spicer Architecture, has been shaped by the whole community and will provide a much-needed space in the village.

It has also been designed to be eco-friendly, featuring solar panels, lots of insulation and air tight fittings.

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